Bhubaneswar, Jan 7: A two-member team of the National Commission on Minorities today visited riot-hit areas on Kandhamal district in Orissa and found that people here were “shocked and scared."
On Tuesday, the team comprising of eminent journalist Dillip Padgaonkar and Professor Zoya Hasan will review the post-violence rehabilitation measures taken by the State Government. “The violent incidents were unfortunate and tragic in Kandhamal where the situation is very complex. People, particularly from minority group, are under shock and scared," Padgaonkar told reporters. Padgaonkar said that the team want to ascertain the cause of the riots and what the Commission could do for those affected, particularly minority members.
Though the situation in Kandhamal district was complex, but everybody has got the constitutional right to follow his own religion and “we must respect their religious sentiments." The NCM said they would meet Governor M C Bhandare and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik before submitting a report to the Commission.
On January 2, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had reviewed the situation in the violence-hit areas of the district. The Orissa Government had transferred a top police official from the riot-hit Kandhamal district. The district's Superintendent of Police N Bhol was removed from the post and given assignment at the Home Department.
The State Government has set up a judicial commission, headed by Judge (retired) Basudev Panigrahi to probe the communal violence in the district. Many people have gone missing since the violence broke out on December 24.
At least three people were killed in the violence that was sparked off on December 24 when Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists led mobs burnt down churches.